Nigerian startup Tuteria, an online marketplace connecting users with tutors in various subjects, has seen strong growth since it began processing client requests in October of last year.
Tuteria, which began accepting applications from interest tutors in June of last year, already has over 6,000 approved tutors listed on the platform, and over 15,500 users.
The platform connects people seeking to learn anything with tutors in their local area, while also ensuring safety, accountability and quality service delivery. Lessons can be booked in academic subjects as well as more vocational areas, while there are also tutors offering lessons in skills such as programming and web design.
Tuteria processes payments for lessons, monitors lesson delivery and evaluates performance, with chief executive officer (CEO) Godwin Benson telling Disrupt Africa the team had been gradually refining the product for over two years based on feedback from both clients and tutors.
“A lot of people want to learn various subjects, skills and exams but don’t know where to find those who can teach them,” Benson said.
“We wanted to bridge that gap. There are a lot of smaller tutoring companies, centres and agencies scattered around different parts of the country, but we are the only company where people can actually find tutors to learn anything nationwide.
The startup was initially self-funded, mostly from Benson’s earnings from his previous job, but later received grants from Niara-Africa and Microsoft Nigeria. Revenues have been steadily growing since October, as has the user base across Nigeria.
Tuteria takes a cut of between 15 and 30 per cent from the cost of each lesson booked via the site, with clients paying upfront and tutors receiving payment after the lessons have been delivered. Tutors are rewarded for their level of popularity on the platform.
“The commission depends on the level of the tutors. New tutors earn 70 per cent, which increases to 85 per cent based on the number of hours they have taught,” Benson said.
Currently operating only in Nigeria, Tuteria does plan to expand to other African countries once it has established a strong footing in the West African country. Benson said the startup had been required to fight against a reluctance on the part of many Nigerians to use an online portal to find tutors, requiring Tuteria to process many bookings through calls.
“Coupled with that is the fact that we still work from my house, so we can’t take in more than a certain of people,” he said. “So each person is inspired to work extra hard, until we move into an office space and can get more hands to match the demand.”
Further funding would assist with this, with Benson saying Tuteria is seeking between US$250,000 and US$500,000 in order to scale more quickly.
“I think we now have a tested and repeatable business model for private tutoring, and have built our platform to be able to scale easily – plus we have a plan to do so,” he said.
“We’ve also noticed some interesting demand for other related services we can provide to create value for customers both within and outside Nigeria which we will zero in on.”